The United Arab Emirates and Qatar on Wednesday, July 18, joined Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in suspending imports of soy sauce products from Asia, following reports they could contain cancer-causing substances.
Emirati authorities decided "to withdraw from the market these products following reports that they contain a carcinogenic substance," according to state media. Qatar's food control committee ordered the "suspension of Soya-based products and their withdrawal from the market," the official QNA news agency said. The committee also banned the import and sale of tofu from Southeast Asia.
The Saudi commerce ministry on Tuesday ordered the withdrawal from local markets of all Soya sauce products from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand until samples have been tested in government laboratories.
There have been reports that soy sauce from those countries contains high percentages of Mepd-3, a carcinogenic chemical substance. The fears caused Bahrain's health ministry to announce a similar ban on Soya products from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand late Monday.
The Gulf Cooperation Council ― Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ― suspended imports of Spanish olive oil earlier this month over fears it contained another carcinogenic substance called benzopyrene. ― (AFP, Dubai)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )